In the ancient past, Deniss the Beautiful crafted the apsarava (singular: apsarava, adjectival: apsaravan) from fire and blood. They were forged to be passionate, sensual, clever, and persuasive. In return for their worship, she taught them to forge bronze, and so they dominated the early world. Although thousands of years have passed since the fall of the Sorcerer Lord and his Dominion of Nivorios, the dreadful memory of his reign still lingers.
Apsarava naturally exhude pheromones and other secretions far better than any perfume. They're simply attractive, chemically speaking. Apsarava are similar to humans in build, but their skin is only found in blues and violets. Their hair is naturally dark black or deep purple. They have slightly pointed ears, and their eyes are warm-colored: red, orange, amber, or gold. Apsarava are very similar to humans in lifespan and age of adolescence. An apsarava begins maturing around age 13 and is considered an adult by 17. They keep death at bay about 80 years on average, but some live to see 100 years or more.
Apsarava are able to reproduce with humans as well as vidari. Whichever race mothers the child is the deciding factor in the race of the offspring. A female apsarava who mates with a male vidara conceives an apsaravan child whose natural lifespan is doubled. A female vidara who mates with an apsarava male conceives a vidara child whose natural lifespan is halved. Humans and apsarava have similar lifespans. Tell-tale signs of mixed heritage could include height, ear shape, and hair, eye, and skin color.
The apsarava are about the same height and weight as humans, which makes them Size 0.
Apsarava are often found wearing bright colors, intricate patterns, and comfortable silky clothing. Many apsarava wear jewelry made of dark stones like amethyst or onyx set in precious metals. Apsarava are proud of their appearance and tend to keep healthy and adorn themselves with fine clothes and jewelry. Some apsarava lean closer to vanity than pride, and enjoy being found in the most expensive attire.
Outfits to draw the eye are not always practical. Thankfully, the apsarava have a dexterous mind and a gentle touch, meaning they can sneak and hide better than most. These stealthy apsarava might (not) be found wearing predominantly black and grey clothing.
Apsarava are very clever and stealthy. The immortal Deniss holds dominion over lust and betrayal, and so true to their maker, apsarava tend to seek out pleasure and generally lack commitment. They're also seasoned liars and actors. Being creatures of passion, apsarava can be rash, judgmental, vengeful, and quick to anger, but they can also be quick to forgive and frequently give in to their desires. They seek out the pleasures that life has to offer, but most apsarava look down on addiction to specific vices. An apsarava won't be found hogging all the fun; they're often excited to share joy with their friends — "Oh, man. You've gotta try this!"
An apsarava will surround himself with anything he enjoys: comfortable furnishings, attractive pieces of art, delicious food and drink. They take to city life well, and given the means, tend to build and decorate their homes to impress the eye. Apsarava who prefer to reside far from the busyness of cities dream of cozy villas in scenic locations, stocked with any niceties they can collect.
Going hand-in-hand with their pursuit of the pleasures in life, apsarava delight in seasoned and flavorful food. They enjoy dishes with hot spices or zesty herbs, which are often way too powerful for others. An apsarava usually partakes of five or six small daily meals.
Apsarava in the present age claim no homeland, as if to distance themselves from the atrocities of the distant past. With the exception of the two evengaran city-states, apsarava have taken up residence across the world. Many an apsarava takes to a life of traveling from place to place, stimulating their senses with the pleasures of what may lie there.
Apsarava generally subscribe to a life of ethical hedonism. Most strive first and foremost to keep themselves and the ones they love happy. Apsarava will take lovers, but they rarely marry, given a general skepticism of monogamy, and that many lack a permanent residence. When they do, it's usually with another race, as it's rare to find two apsarava capable of deep, committed love. The apsarava are considered to be keenly in touch with their sexuality; they're more adventurous and liberated under the covers than others. Some even find a spiritual enlightenment in the pleasures of the flesh.
When it comes to parenting, apsarava generally uphold two schools of thought: "it's not my problem" or "hey, kid, let's go!" When given the choice, an apsarava prefers to observe a death by funeral pyre, or burial at sea; whichever causes the least pain, the smallest debt, and is most easily performed.
Old Apsaravan may have been the lingua franca ten or twelve thousand years ago, but it's extremely rare today. Old Apsaravan is written in its own alphabet, which is a cursive script. The spoken language is smooth and soft. Only very old writings and very old places would have any trace of it.
Apsarava make great traveling companions, but the morally pious may find fault with their mantra of hedonism. Relationships with evengar are usually out of the question — the apsarava see the evengar as rigid, hateful, and arrogant, and the evengar view the apsarava as immoral lechers without honor — but in some circumstances friendships have come to take root between the two. Apsarava can get along very well with most other races, but tend to see kulgeris as unfeeling. Firnoy won't play cards with apsarava because their poker face is unbeatable.
The apsarava want nothing more in life than to be happy and make others happy. As a result, they make excellent company, so in line with this, apsarava are natural courtesans, ambassadors, and entertainers. An apsarava's keen mind and stealthiness would make him a perfect assassin, spy, scout, or ranger. In fact, many apsarava fill the ranks of the Band of the Fox and the Shadow Talons.
Once upon a time, the world was dominated by apsarava who had just mastered the forge, and their mastery has only strengthened since. Apsaravan weaponry is elegant, precise, balanced, and durable. They prefer slashing and piercing weapons. The life of a soldier or mercenary comes naturally to travel-hungry apsarava. While they make skilled archers or marksmen, many apsarava prefer to leave the ranged combat to sorcerers, and fight their enemies in melee. After all, the dance of battle is so intimate. Apsarava possess a glib tongue and many dabble in Compulsions and Illusions.
Motivations for an apsarava could include something lofty and grand (defeating an evengar army, finding ancient magic in the Castle Shyvyr) or simple (finding acceptance, locating your lost father).
- Veil of Shadow – If you can count on anybody to win Hide and Seek, it's an apsarava, for they gain a +2 bonus to Stealth checks.
- Born to Shag – The apsarava are downright enticing — thanks to pheromones and other chemical secretions. They're solid flirts, bribers, and tempters. They receive a +3 bonus to Seduce checks.
- Through Their Teeth – Apsarava possess an extraordinary ability to fib convincingly because they don't exhibit any of the typical physiological responses when lying. They receive a +2 bonus to Bluff checks.
Societal Powers: Choose one of the following.
- To Thine Own Self Be True – The apsarava delight in rich stimulation of the senses, and so they can pick out false sensory input pretty easily. They receive a +2 bonus to Lucidity checks.
- Some Like It Hot – As the first race to harness the power of the forge, apsarava have always been fantastic at smithing. They receive a +2 bonus to Craft checks when a kiln or forge is involved.
- Cunning Linguists – Commonly found moving from place to place enjoying life's pleasures, the apsarava are likely to know how to chat with the locals. They receive a +2 bonus to Translate checks.